Samuel F. B. Morse

American inventor and painter (1791–1872)

Samuel Finley Breese Morse (April 27, 1791 – April 2, 1872) was an American inventor, and painter of portraits and historic scenes.

Self-portrait of Morse in 1812 (National Portrait Gallery)
Plaque on the Old Post Office Bldg, 7th St. between F and G NW, Washington D.C.


  • What hath God wrought?
    • Quoted in John F. Stover, History of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (1987, Purdue University Press), ISBN 0-911198-81-4, pp. 59–60
    • Message sent by Morse to officially open the first telegraph line, from Baltimore to Washington, on May 24, 1844
  • The birth and inauguration of the generic telegraph has not only opened a new field for the labors, and given direction to the ingenuity of the mechanician, suggesting numerous varieties of form and distribution of parts, but it has also give a fresh impulse to the researches of the philosopher into the mysteries of the most efficient agent, electricity. It has been the servant of the astronomer; it has assisted in the determination of longitudes; ... it has promoted the science of meteorology, and been tributary in many ways to the advancement of our knowledge of terrestrial phenomena. ...
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